Journal of Mass Communication & Journalism

ISSN: 2165-7912

Open Access

Social Media and Nurse Education: An Integrative Review of the Literature


Cristina Arrigoni, Rosaria Alvaro, Ercole Vellone and Marina Vanzetta

The exponential advance of social media has touched all areas of society, not least the professional and personal lives of health care professionals. The issue to be considered is not whether or not social media are being used, but how they are used. The line between proper and improper use, and even abuse, of social media is a fine one. Thus, the key issue is to be aware of the tool that is being used and this should be supported with suitable training for health care professionals and, at an even earlier stage, for students at health care training institutions during their studies. To describe the use of social media by teachers and students on training courses through an integrative review of the literature. An integrative review of the literature was conducted in October 2014. The literature search was conducted by consulting the main biomedical databases: PubMed, CINAHL and Embase. The literature search brought up 854 citations. 804 abstracts were excluded as they were not relevant. Of the remaining 50, 31 were excluded for not meeting the general criteria and, hence, only 19 articles were included: 6 evidencebased documents and 13 non-evidence-based documents. Two aspects emerged from the works selected: the use and potential of social media in nursing education and the ethical and professional implications of their use. The analysis of the literature reveals two areas for further investigation: evaluating the level of moral awareness in nursing education with regards to the use of Web 2.0 communication tools and implementing teaching methods to promote the construction and development of moral reasoning in professionals.


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